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St. Patrick’s Day: Who Else Wants Their Lucky (Interview) Charms?

March 14, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, so we here at the myJoblinx hub have been talking about some of the lucky charms we’ve used and superstitions we’ve applied when it comes to the most nail-biting experience of all – the job interview.  Our co-founder, Edward, has shamelessly confided that prior to any job interview or meeting he rocks out to “Back in Black” by AC/DC and sports his lucky necktie.   As for me, I’ve committed to memory Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” which I will furiously rap in my car (emphatic hand gestures and all) right before entering the building.

In an informal poll among my fellow colleagues and warm network has shown me that to some degree, most people are superstitious when it comes to the job interview. A former colleague of mine would center her outfit around a good pair of shoes, while for most men, it’s a lucky tie that secures confidence.  Some will either meditate or pray to calm nerves, but there are others still who don’t even give one thought to routines like this. They believe that thinking and worrying too much about the job interview would actually jinx its outcome.

In an interesting study, students at Cornell University were given a fictitious scenario to measure whether or not the participants thought it was bad luck to tempt fate. The story goes: ‘Jon’ has applied to Stanford University and in support, his mother has sent him a Stanford sweatshirt.  The participants read one of two endings to the story:

  1. Jon wears it while he’s waiting for the decision from Stanford, thereby tempting fate (gods are angered).
  2. Jon stuffs the t-shirt in the drawer, not tempting fate (gods are mollified).

The results show that half of the students thought it was bad luck for Jon to tempt fate by wearing the sweater, even before he heard whether or not he got into Stanford.

Most of us may agree that there is no logical reason for why we perform our coveted pre-interview regimens.  But like a security blanket, sometimes it helps to focus nervous energy onto something outside of oneself.   I ‘rap’ because it releases tension; I feel like I can conquer anything because of the message the lyric conveys.  There is also the placebo effect- if you think doing something a certain way will help, then it probably will.  The sheer belief in something is powerful enough to drive a positive result.  This is the reason why professional athletes are maniacal about pre-game rituals.   No matter the reason, we hope that whatever charm or superstition you do employ for the job interview is not without much preparation!

What are your lucky charms and superstitions and why do you do them? Like or follow us to join the conversation.

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